Property Matters: New southside marina/restaurant, next life for Oglethorpe Speedway, Bull St. Taco expanding, City Market rebranding

A rendering of the proposed marina and restaurant with rooftop seating.
A rendering of the proposed marina and restaurant with rooftop seating.

Semi-trucks and forklifts are set to replace monster trucks and stock cars at the former Oglethorpe Speedway Park in Pooler. And those planning to base a new liberal arts college in Savannah are shrugging off a minor setback after purchasing a historic downtown mansion earlier this year. Another option for waterfront dining appears to be on the way, while a popular taco spot is looking to expand. Read the latest development news in this week's Property Matters.

Stay Engaged Savannah, Eric Curl


Marina, restaurant planned for Southside

The Metropolitan Planning Commission approved on Dec. 20 a developer's petition to rezone 12500 Apache Avenue from residential to a maritime business classification in order to construct a restaurant and marina. A restaurant with a marina called Bells Landing previously operated at the site before being destroyed by a fire in 2006. 

click to enlarge Property Matters: New southside marina/restaurant, next life for Oglethorpe Speedway, Bull St. Taco expanding, City Market rebranding
The conceptual plan shows nine warehouses within the industrial park at the speedway and surrounding properties.

Oglethorpe Speedway to be replaced with warehouse complex

On Dec. 19, the Pooler City Council approved Atlanta-based SDP Acquisitions request to rezone the former Oglethorpe Speedway Park site, along with surrounding properties, from residential to light industrial. 

SDP is planning a 294-acre industrial complex and the rezoning is needed to accommodate warehousing and truck transportation uses, according to the agenda packet

The Oglethorpe Speedway held its final race in November 2021, following 70 years of hosting  stock car races, monster truck shows, demolition derbies, rodeos and more on its dirt track.

Liberal arts college denied tax exemptions for 2022

click to enlarge Property Matters: New southside marina/restaurant, next life for Oglethorpe Speedway, Bull St. Taco expanding, City Market rebranding
Ralston College plans to renovate the mansion at 3 West Gordon St. for use as classrooms, offices and a library.

Ralston College is following through with announced plans to establish a new educational institution “dedicated to human flourishing” in Savannah.

However, the nonprofit college will have to try again next year after being denied a tax exemption for the historic downtown mansion it purchased for $3.5 million. The Chatham County Board of Assessors recently denied the exemption because the college did not take ownership until May. The college needed to own the building at the start of  the year in order to qualify for the 2022 exemption.

A similar reason was behind the board’s decision to also deny an exemption for a Baldwin Park home the college purchased for $572,500 in June to house a faculty member. 

The college purchased the downtown mansion to use for classrooms, offices and a library, according to public records.

Constructed in 1869, the mansion at 3 West Gordon St. on Monterey Square previously housed Alex Raskin Antiques.

The college is now working with local and national preservation experts to carefully restore the “much-loved Savannah landmark in the highest and best manner,” according to spokesperson Katie Rook.

The college intends to apply again in 2023 and the decision by the board to deny the exemptions for this year will have no impact on the college’s plans, Rook said.

Bull Street Taco planning expansion

Bull Street Taco recently submitted plans to expand into the adjacent space previously occupied by a barbershop. The expansion plans include a bar component in the new space, along with the addition of a bathroom, dish area and office. The existing space will also undergo some reconfiguring. 

The expansion plans come about five years after Bull Street Taco opened in 2017 at 1608 Bull St. on the popular commercial corridor south of Savannah’s downtown historic district.

New City Market owner says rebranding, new restaurant on the way

The new owner of downtown Savannah’s City Market has a new restaurant lined up to move into the space following Wild Wing Cafe’s recent departure.

Robert Tulloch, a managing partner with Green Room Partners (GRM), said Friday that the new restaurant tenant will be announced in January, but won’t open for business until later in 2023 after performing extensive work to create their concept.

Charleston-based GRP purchased the City market properties for $30.5 million in March, according to sales records. About 40 businesses, including art studios, retail shops and restaurants, currently operate at City Market near Ellis Square.

While GRP plans to launch a rebranding campaign in the near future, no major “upset the apple cart” changes are planned for the buildings or tenant mix, Tulloch said.

 

About The Author

Eric Curl

When not wandering the streets with his canine companion, Eric Curl is probably reading building permits and meeting agendas. He writes Property Matters on to share what he finds. You can find the column, along with other stories, cartoons and quizzes about local matters at Savannahagenda.com.
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